In the final seconds, Peyton Siva extended No. 5 Louisville's lead to three points with two free throws. After a timeout, Tyler Brown got two looks from beyond the arc to tie the game, but couldn't convert. On his last shot, it appeared he was fouled after drawing the contact on an up-fake.
Following a slow start in the first half, the Cardinals settled in and found success in the second period, outscoring the Redbirds 44-33. The Louisville backcourt led the way with Russ Smith scoring a team-high 24 points, while Siva added 20 points and four assists.
Brown and Jackie Carmichael matched for Illinois State with Brown pouring in a game-high 25 and Carmichael recording a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Illinois State came out of the gate putting pressure on Louisville by opening up a 14-2 lead. The Redbirds held the Cardinals to just one field goal in nearly the first eight minutes of the game.
Louisville slowly clawed its way back from the deficit by using a smothering full-court press, leading to multiple breakaway layups and dunks. Still, Illinois State kept the the Cardinals at arms length and finished the half with a 33-25 lead.